While we are here on vacation we had to find shells on the beach! We collect some everyday so I pulled a few to use to make imprints. I brought along a travel bag of play-doh and some tools. I knew with a toddler at the beach there would be some down time and I did not want that time spent watching TV! (Yes, I am one of those people!)
I gathered our supplies; play-doh (I just pulled out one color), shells- already washed, and a couple tools that came with the play-doh.
Jake has only had one prior experience with play-doh and that did not go so well! He tried to eat it the entire time we played! This time went a lot better as you can see! He was so excited to play/learn with something new!
We imprinted the play-doh with the shells making all different sizes and shapes. I made sure to point out that the impression on the doh was what was on the shell. He really enjoyed doing this although he pressed a little too hard and sometimes the play-doh would stick to the shell.
This is his 'Oh Wow,' face!
I hate to say it but he loved the tools more than the imprinting, big surprise! My little guys is all about tools! He really got a kick out of this tool-above, that made noodles when play-doh was placed inside and squeezed out. He also liked the shark cookie cutter. When I saw him trying to cast out the noodles like a fishing rod I knew we were on to something! I put a couple sharks out in front and showed him how to 'catch' a fish with his 'rod.' That was a lot of fun!
As we were playing I thought of a way to extend the activity. This is NOT something Jacob is ready for but other children might be able to enjoy making it a game. The idea is that one person (or mom) could imprint a few different shells on the play-doh and the child could try to make an educated guess as to which shell made which imprint. An example is pictured above. Three shells, three imprints. An older child (or a more detailed oriented child) would have no problem doing this and enjoying it!
Vacation can be a time of learning! There are new experiences to learn through but also vocabulary, motor skills and playing new activities. Just try to use your time and exposure wisely!